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Ryo Yamanaka, Hayato Ohnuma, Ryosuke Ando, Fumiya Tanji, Toshiyuki Ohya, Masahiro Hagiwara and Yasuhiro Suzuki

Purpose: Increases in maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) and running economy improve performance in long-distance runners. Nevertheless, long-distance runners require sprinting ability to win, especially in the final phase of competitions. The authors determined the relationships between performance and sprinting ability, as well as other abilities in elite long-distance runners. Methods: The subjects were 12 elite long-distance runners. Mean official seasonal best times in 5000-m (5000 m-SB) and 10,000-m (10,000 m-SB) races within 1 year before or after the examination were 13:58.5 (0:18.7) and 28:37.9 (0:25.2) (mean [SD]), respectively. The authors measured 100-m and 400-m sprint times as the index of sprinting ability. They also measured V˙O2max and running economy (V˙O2 at 300 m·min−1 of running velocity). They used a single correlation analysis to assess relationships between 5000 m-SB or 10,000 m-SB and other elements. Results: There were significant correlations between 5000 m-SB was significantly correlated with 100-m sprint time (13.3 [0.7] s; r = .68, P = .014), 400-m sprint time (56.6 [2.7] s; r = .69, P = .013), and running economy (55.5 [3.9] mL·kg−1·min−1; r = .59, P = .045). There were significant correlations between 10,000 m-SB and 100-m sprint time (r = .72, P = .009) and 400-m sprint time (r = .85, P < .001). However, there was no significant correlation between 5000 m-SB or 10,000 m-SB and V˙O2max (72.0 [3.8] mL·kg−1·min−1). Conclusions: The authors' data suggest that sprinting ability is an important indicator of performance in elite long-distance runners.

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Erin Calaine Inglis, Danilo Iannetta, Daniel A. Keir and Juan M. Murias

Purpose: To evaluate whether the coherence in the oxygen uptake (V˙O2) associated with the respiratory compensation point (RCP), near-infrared spectroscopy-derived muscle deoxyhemoglobin ([HHb]) break point ([HHb]BP), and maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) would persist at the midpoint and endpoint of a 7-month training and racing season. Methods: Eight amateur male cyclists were tested in 3 separate phases over the course of a cycling season (PRE, MID, and POST). Testing at each phase included a ramp-incremental test to exhaustion to determine RCP and [HHb]BP. The PRE and POST phases also included constant power output rides to determine MLSS. Results: Compared with PRE, V˙O2 at both RCP and [HHb]BP was greater at MID (delta: RCP 0.23 [0.14] L·min−1, [HHb]BP 0.33 [0.17] L·min−1) and POST (delta: RCP 0.21 [0.12], [HHb]BP 0.30 [0.14] L·min−1) (P < .05). V˙O2 at MLSS also increased from PRE to POST (delta: 0.17 [12] L·min−1) (P < .05). V˙O2 was not different at RCP, [HHb]BP, and MLSS at PRE (3.74 [0.34], 3.64 [0.40], 3.78 [0.23] L·min−1) or POST (3.96 [0.25], 3.95 [0.32], 3.94 [0.18] L·min−1) respectively, and RCP (3.98 [0.33] L·min−1) and [HHb]BP (3.97 [0.34] L·min−1) were not different at MID (P > .05). PRE–MID and PRE–POST changes in V˙O2 associated with RCP, [HHb]BP, and MLSS were strongly correlated (range: r = .85–.90) and demonstrated low mean bias (range = −.09 to .12 L·min−1). Conclusions: At all measured time points, V˙O2 at RCP, [HHb]BP, and MLSS were not different. Irrespective of phase comparison, direction, or magnitude of V˙O2 changes, intraindividual changes between each index were strongly related, indicating that interindividual differences were reflected in the group mean response and that their interrelationships are beyond coincidental.

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Danielle Peers, Timothy Konoval and Rebecca Marsh Naturkach

This Foucauldian discourse analysis engages DePauw’s theory of disability and visibility to examine the construction of para-athletes within the websites of Canada’s “fully integrated” athletics sport system. The authors found that para-athletes remain largely unimaginable within most athletics websites. When present, para-athletes are often only imagined as marginal participants, or marginalized through medical and charitable discourses. The authors offer examples of para-athletes being reimagined primarily as athletes, and some examples where (para-)athletics was reimagined by identifying and removing barriers to full participation. The authors close with some learning points that may enable sport practitioners to change how they discursively construct para-athletes and thus contribute to a less marginalizing and exclusionary sport system.

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Kirsti Van Dornick and Nancy L.I. Spencer

The purpose of this study was to examine the classification experiences (perspectives and reflections) of paraswimmers. Classification provides a structure for parasport, with the goal of reducing the impact of impairment on the outcome of competition. Guided by interpretive description, nine paraswimmers ranging in swimming experience and sport class were interviewed. Reflective notes were also collected. Transcribed interviews were analyzed inductively, followed by a deductive analysis using Nordenfelt’s dignity framework. Three themes represent the findings: access, diversity, and (un)certainty. Despite several positive experiences, paraswimmers also discussed inconsistencies in the process leading them to question competition fairness and classification accuracy. These findings suggest that continued efforts to improve the classification system are required. In addition, paraswimmers and their allies (e.g., coaches) require more information about the classification process to better understand the outcomes and to effectively advocate for their needs.

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Sabrina Skorski, Jan Schimpchen, Mark Pfeiffer, Alexander Ferrauti, Michael Kellmann and Tim Meyer

Purpose: Despite indications of positive effects of sauna (SAU) interventions, effects on performance recovery are unknown. The aim of the current study was to investigate acute effects of SAU bathing after an intensive training session on recovery of swim performance. Methods: In total, 20 competitive swimmers and triathletes (3 female and 17 male) with a minimum of 2 y of competition experience (national level or higher) participated in the study. Athletes completed an intensive training session followed by either a SAU bathing intervention or a placebo (PLAC) condition in a randomized order. SAU consisted of 3 × 8 min of SAU bathing at 80–85°C, whereas during PLAC, athletes applied a deidentified, pH-balanced massage oil while passively resting in a seated position. Prior to training, swimmers conducted a 4 × 50-m all-out swim test that was repeated on the following morning. Furthermore, subjective ratings of fatigue and recovery were measured. Results: Swimmers performed significantly worse after SAU (4 × 50-m pre–post difference: +1.69 s) than after PLAC (−0.66 s; P = .02), with the most pronounced decrease in the first 50 m (P = .04; +2.7%). Overall performance of 15 athletes deteriorated (+2.6 s). The subjective feeling of stress was significantly higher after SAU than after PLAC (P = .03). Conclusion: Based on published findings, the smallest substantial change in swimming performance is an increase in time of more than 1.2 s; thus, the observed reductions appear relevant for competitive swimmers. According to the current results, coaches and athletes should be careful with postexercise SAU if high-intensity training and/or competitions are scheduled on the following day.

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Jan Schroeder, Franziska Erthel and Karsten Hollander

Purpose: Foot-strike patterns (FSP) in running are related to certain impact kinetics during ground contact. A rear-foot strike (RFS) has been associated with higher impact forces, whereas a forefoot strike (FFS) is assumed to minimize these impact forces. This study investigated the effects of running with RFS or FFS on impact-sensitive neuronal biomarkers S100 calcium-binding protein B (S100B), neuron-specific enolase (NSE), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Methods: In this randomized crossover study, 18 healthy recreational runners (14 male, mean [SD] age 28.2 [4.7] y, body mass index 22.8 [1.9]) ran 2 separate 5-mile runs with RFS or FFS, respectively. Blood samples were taken before (pre), 30 min after (post 0), and 24 h after (post 24) the run. S100B, NSE, and LDH concentrations were determined and analyzed (3 × 2 data model). Results: S100B, NSE, and LDH concentrations increased from pre to post 0 and decreased within 24 h back to the baseline level, demonstrating a significant time effect (all P < .01, all ηpart2>.3). No main effect for FSP or any significant interaction effect indicating FSP-specific differences between FFS or RFS was found (all P > .05, all ηpart2<.07), except for LDH (P < .001, ηpart2=.77). Conclusions: NSE, S100B, and LDH concentration increased in the short term after running and returned to normal in 24 h. FSP with varying impact forces does not influence the increase of these biomarkers. LDH findings favor peripheral origins, but mixed effects are possible. Thus, further research is needed to estimate the risk of mild traumatic encephalopathy.

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Justin A. Haegele, Samuel R. Hodge, Xihe Zhu, Steven K. Holland and Wesley J. Wilson

The purpose of this study was to examine the perspectives of individuals with visual impairment toward inclusion and the inclusiveness of their integrated physical education experiences. A retrospective, qualitative-description research approach was used, and 10 adults (age 20–35 years) with visual impairments acted as the participants. The data sources included one-on-one telephone interviews and reflective interview notes. A theoretical thematic analysis approach was used to analyze the data. Three interrelated themes were identified: “I always felt like a misfit”: a missing sense of belonging, acceptance, and value; “I felt very excluded, very pushed to the side”: lack of access to activity participation; and “Even though it sucked, I do agree with it”: preference for integrated settings. Collectively, the participants recalled that experiencing feelings of inclusion during physical education were rare. Despite this, they expressed a perceived importance of being integrated in contexts with their peers.

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Cruz Hogan, Martyn J. Binnie, Matthew Doyle, Leanne Lester and Peter Peeling

Purpose: To compare methods of monitoring and prescribing on-water exercise intensity (heart rate [HR], stroke rate [SR], and power output [PO]) during sprint kayak training. Methods: Twelve well-trained flat-water sprint kayak athletes completed a preliminary on-water 7 × 4-min graded exercise test and a 1000-m time trial to delineate individual training zones for PO, HR, and SR into a 5-zone model (T1–T5). Subsequently, athletes completed 2 repeated trials of an on-water training session, where intensity was prescribed based on individual PO zones. Times quantified for T1–T5 during the training session were then compared between PO, HR, and SR. Results: Total time spent in T1 was higher for HR (P < .01) compared with PO. Time spent in T2 was lower for HR (P < .001) and SR (P < .001) compared with PO. Time spent in T3 was not different between PO, SR, and HR (P > .05). Time spent in T4 was higher for HR (P < .001) and SR (P < .001) compared with PO. Time spent in T5 was higher for SR (P = .03) compared with PO. Differences were found between the prescribed and actual time spent in T1–T5 when using PO (P < .001). Conclusions: The measures of HR and SR misrepresented time quantified for T1–T5 as prescribed by PO. The stochastic nature of PO during on-water training may explain the discrepancies between prescribed and actual time quantified for power across these zones. For optimized prescription and monitoring of athlete training loads, coaches should consider the discrepancies between different measures of intensity and how they may influence intensity distribution.

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Jonathon J.S. Weakley, Dale B. Read, Hugh H.K. Fullagar, Carlos Ramirez-Lopez, Ben Jones, Cloe Cummins and John A. Sampson

Purpose: To investigate whether providing global positioning system feedback to players between bouts of small-sided games (SSGs) can alter locomotor, physiological, and perceptual responses. Methods: Using a reverse counterbalanced design, 20 male university rugby players received either feedback or no feedback during “off-side” touch rugby SSGs. Eight 5v5, 6 × 4-minute SSGs were played over 4 d. Teams were assigned to a feedback or no-feedback condition (control) each day, with feedback provided during the 2-min between-bouts rest interval. Locomotor, heart rate, and differential rating of perceived exertion of breathlessness and leg-muscle exertion were measured and analyzed using a linear mixed model. Outcomes were reported using effect sizes (ES) and 90% confidence intervals (CI), and then interpreted via magnitude-based decisions. Results: Very likely trivial to unclear differences at all time points were observed in heart rate and differential rating of perceived exertion measures. Possibly to very likely trivial effects were observed between conditions, including total distance (ES = 0.15; 90 CI, −0.03 to 0.34), high-speed distance (ES = −0.07; 90 CI, −0.27 to 0.13), and maximal sprint speed (ES = 0.11; 90% CI, −0.11 to 0.34). All within-bout comparisons showed very likely to unclear differences, apart from possible increases in low-speed distance in bout 2 (ES = 0.23; 90% CI, 0.01 to 0.46) and maximal sprint speed in bout 4 (ES = 0.21; 90% CI, −0.04 to 0.45). Conclusions: In this study, verbal feedback did not alter locomotor, physiological, or perceptual responses in rugby players during SSGs. This may be due to contextual factors (eg, opposition) or the type (ie, distance) or low frequency of feedback provided.

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Juan A. Escobar Álvarez, Juan P. Fuentes García, Filipe A. Da Conceição and Pedro Jiménez-Reyes

Purpose: Ballet dancers are required to achieve performance feats such as exciting and dramatic elevations. Dancers with a greater jump height can perform a wider range of skills during their flight time and implement more specific technical skills related to the aesthetic components of a dance choreography. New findings suggest the relationship between force and velocity mechanical capabilities (F-V profile) as an important variable for jumping performance. A new field method based on several series of loaded vertical jumps provides information on the theoretical maximal force, theoretical maximal velocity, theoretical maximal power, and the imbalance between force and velocity (F-V IMB). The purpose of this study was to observe the effects of 9 wk of individualized F-V profile-based training during countermovement jumps (CMJs) in female ballet dancers. Methods: CMJ and mechanical outputs of 46 dancers (age = 18.9 [1.1] y, body mass = 54.8 [6.1] kg, height = 163.7 [8.4] cm) were estimated in a pre–post intervention. The control group (10 participants) continued with the standardized training regimen (no resistance training), whereas the experimental group (36 participants) performed 2 sessions over 9 wk of a training plan based on their F-V profile. Results: The experimental group presented significant differences with large effect sizes in CMJ height (29.3 [3.2] cm vs 33.5 [3.72] cm), theoretical maximal force (24.1 [2.2] N/kg vs 29.9 [2.8] N/kg), and theoretical maximal velocity (4 [0.6] m/s vs 3.2 [0.5] m/s). Significant differences with a very large effect size were found in F-V IMB (43.8% [15.3%] vs 24.9% [8.7%]). Conclusion: A training program addressing F-V IMB is an effective way to improve CMJ height in female ballet dancers.